For writers, the hardest part of the article composition process is actually pitching articles to publications, blogs and other websites. It can seem intimidating, difficult and perhaps even a waste of time, but this is the wrong attitude to have. All you have to do is be professional.
Prior to pitching an article, every writer must realize two things: websites are not in the business of catering for writers but for readers; you must prove your personal value to website visitors. If you don’t understand these two ideas then your pitch will fail and you will have to publish the article on your personal blog where it may or may not generate a commendable amount of views.
Making a pitch is both an art form and a science. You have to be creative, but you should also incorporate industry standards. You might fail repeatedly at first, but once you get a hang of the pitching process then you’ll see your name plastered across a wide variety of websites.
Here are seven tips to pitching articles to publications, blogs and other websites:
1. Address the editor by name
One of the biggest pet peeves for any editor or blog owner is when they receive an email with a pitch and it is addressed to "team," "editor" or "website owner." This suggests the writer didn’t perform their due diligence and find out who the primary contact person is. It is uncouth and unprofessional to address any person with anything other than their name.
2. Insert a great subject line
Newspapers, publications and blogs are inundated with hundreds of emails a day. Therefore, it’s possible your email can get lost in the shuffle, but that will only happen if the subject line consists of something mundane and generic. In other words, in order to stand out, you have to create a catchy subject line.
Here is a good looking subject line: Blockchain Technology to be the New Frontier in Banking
Here is a subject line that will be ignored: Guest Posting Submission
Which one would you open?
In most cases, you should come up with a great subject line. This varies from case to case, however, because sometimes editors ask writers to submit content with a subject line "Article Submission 123."
3. Do not copy & paste
Let’s face it: we know when something is copy and pasted. Some hints include a different font and size, generic wording and names meant for another website. When you’re pitching, you should have unique subject lines, pitches and email style; the same email pitch sent to 10 different websites will be ignored. Here is a tip: for every article create five different pitches.
4. Pitching an article to related websites
Do you have an article on economics or personal finance? Great! But be sure not to pitch this article to an automobile, tech or gaming website. You would be surprised at the number of writers who send pitches to websites that are completely unrelated to the niche of the article. Use some common sense: if you have a business article submit it to a business website!
5. Research the website's writing guidelines
Every newspaper or blog has unique writing guidelines. One website may follow the AP style guidebook, while another blog may have certain demands regarding links, headings and images. Whatever the case, you should always read a website’s writing guidelines and style prior to submission. This way, you can tailor your content to their needs.
6. Showcasing your value to readers
Publishers are not in the business of helping writers. Instead, they’re in the business of helping readers. This means you have to prove if you are providing genuine value to those readers. If you’re just writing to pad yourself on the back and show off your writing prowess then it’s quite likely your pitch will be rejected.
7. Be patient if the editor doesn't respond immediately
Finally, if the point of contact doesn’t respond to you within an hour, do not immediately email them back and ask for an answer. This is rude and points to a great deal of impatience. They’re likely to think: ‘imagine if we publish their article on Friday instead of Thursday!’
The reasonable second email should happen after 48 hours and the email should be kind of like this: "Dear Humphrey, I’m just following up on an email I sent you on Tuesday regarding my pitch [insert title here]. If you have any updates or feedback about my article please let me know and it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance."
Aggressive, curt and rude emails will just be sent to the trash bin.
Make sure to take into consideration the readership of a website and your pitch will be successful. If you have any other piece of advice on how to pitch please let us know in the comment section below.